We love to share stories from our community and are particularly in love with the next story! Jacintha Mondesir reached out to tell us about her son, Jamerson. It’s a story that shows what is possible for children with learning differences AND the importance of representation in children’s literature. In her own words:
When Jamerson was born, we realized that there was something exceptionally special about him. However, as his parents, we could not put our finger on it. We then decided to request an Early Intervention (EI) Evaluation. Initially, we were told that he was not eligible for EI services, but we were persistent and advocated on his behalf. He was then re-evaluated and found eligible for speech and occupational therapies, and special instruction. When he was diagnosed with a speech and language impairment, we wanted him to feel as included as possible. We went to the library, searched online, and looked for books locally to help him better understand himself. To our surprise, we had very few options, especially with any representation that looked remotely like him. With his love for books, reading, and cooking, we decided to write our own children’s picture book and titled it Words for Sale.
Jamerson is a little boy who wants to make friends, but he just finds sharing his thoughts so hard! So he turns to what he knows best…mixing and baking to relieve his stress. Soon, he finds his thoughts pouring into the treat he makes. But how will his neighbors react to his yummy thought-filled treat? This is the perfect story for children who may not be able to verbally express themselves, Words for Sale encourages children to find creative outlets that will allow them to cope with adversity while gaining a better understanding of themselves. It enforces that children are key players in determining their destinies by advocating for themselves and finding unique ways to share their voices confidently. Words for Sale also teaches children the importance of having empathy and accepting friends who may be different.
This journey in writing this book has helped us all better understand speech and language impairments, child development, and how to advocate and support Jamerson. We hope to spread awareness and encourage other children who identify with this diagnosis.
If you are interested in learning more about Jamerson or to purchase his book, please click here.
This is just a final reminder that we are currently accepting applications for our next tutoring program, Catching Up and Getting Ahead, which will be held during mid-winter break at the Museum of the City of New York and ten subsequent Saturdays on Zoom. Applications are due Monday, February 5th, and students will be accepted based on need and availability. The application is attached. Please contact Tamara at email@example.com with questions.
Professional Development Opportunities
Powerful Strategies for Building and Retaining Vocabulary and Information in Grades 6-12
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm (2.5 NYSED CTLE hours)
Where: Remote using Zoom
Target audience: Literacy and Content Area Teachers, tutors, interventionists, special educators, administrators, and staff developers
Esther Friedman, Ph.D., will review relevant research on vocabulary acquisition and how to apply the research to practice. Accessible strategies and ways to embed these instructional moves into your literacy program and content area instruction will be presented.
Register here: Building and Retaining Vocabulary
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (1.5 NYSED CTLE hours)
Where: Remote using Zoom
We have an exciting new professional development partnership with the MAIA Education Resource Center! Supporting Diverse Learners with Comorbidity: ADHD and Dyslexia, in Grades 6-8, will be held Monday, March 4th, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Zoom.The session is designed to equip educators with the knowledge and strategies to support students diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia effectively. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of how to address comorbidities and learn practical tools for creating inclusive and nurturing environments in middle school. It will be presented by Sharon Thomas, MAIA Founder and Director, Samantha Santiago-Gionet, MAIA Director of Executive Function Coaching and Tutoring, and Dr. Paul Yellin, MD. Dr. Yellin holds a medical degree and provides neuropsychological evaluations at the Yellin Center. He has expertise in diagnosing both dyslexia and ADHD (https://www.yellincenter.com/about-dr-yellin.html). The cost of this session is $35.
You can register here!